Welcome to the finale of my two-part series regarding the emergence of Atlanta Hawks up-and-coming star Jeff Teague as an effective point guard in the NBA.
In Part 1, I talked about Jeff’s history on the Hawks, his numbers this season, and a brief explanation of his effect on the team. Now in Part Two, I will analyze how Jeff has been scoring and distributing the basketball, what his upcoming free agency looks like, and more. First, here’s a look at one of his most recent outbreaks.
On Wednesday, March 20, Jeff Teague scored 27 points with 11 assists on 11-19 shooting. Let’s take a look at the way he scored and how his passing affected the outcome. Scoring will be categorized by shot type.
7:24 1Q – Jeff takes the ball up the floor, uses a nifty slip screen from Josh Smith, drives into the lane and floats it up and over Larry Sanders, I mean LARRY SANDERS!, who is a superb shot blocker.
1:33 4Q – He uses the illusion of an Al Horford screen at the top of the key to shake Brandon Jennings, who looked like a lost 5th grader on defense, drives into the middle of the paint and floats it up and over a plethora of Bucks defenders.
The floater is a shot that all guards NEED to have in order to be great against teams with superior shot-blockers. Jeff’s floater has been solid for most of this season and his ability to drive the lane provides many opportunities for him to fling it up there.
8:44 2Q – Teague snags a deflected pass with less than 5 seconds left on the shot clock, pump fakes Monta Ellis out of the gym, and dribbles up and knocks down the shot from about 18 feet.
5:37 2Q – Smoove finds him open in the corner on a fastbreak and he sinks it. When he’s open, he can make it.
0:27 2Q – On the tail-end of a set of screens for Korver to get open, Teague receives the ball back from Kyle and knocks down a deep three. When you’re hot, you’re hot.
His jumper is one of the streakiest of all streaky shots, but he has become very dependable from mid-range and from deep just about every time he takes the court. However, there are games when his shot just can’t seem to fall. That’s okay though, even Josh Smith, AKA Mid-Range Shawty, has those games sometimes everytime never mind…
I have just one great example from the Bucks game, but Jeff has made tough shots in the paint all year long.
To end the third quarter, Teague drove the length of the court, past Ellis and Jennings, and gently flipped it in the hoop. This one play perfectly shows what Jeff Teague is all about: Speed and Quickness. My words can’t perfectly describe the way he fakes out defenders and drives to the hoop with authority. Whether or not he gets the foul calls he should be is the real question. It’s a shame his name isn’t LeBron James (Yes, David Stern. I went there).
This part of Teague’s game is what excites me. His passing ability in transition makes the Hawks a dominant squad when they run the floor at his desired pace. Here’s a look at all 11 of his assists against the Bucks.
1 – Dish out to Smoove for a mid-range jumper. He makes it! (After the fans stop groaning though)
2 – John Jenkins comes off an Al Horford screen, receives the ball from Teague and makes a floater in the paint. See, set plays do work!
3 – Jeff Teague distracts Al’s defender as he drives the lane, which leaves Horford open near the elbow. He catches the dish and makes the shot after a sweet stepback.
4 – On the fastbreak, Jeff receives a pass from Smoove on the left side, simply hands it off to Korver, and Kyle drains the three.
5 – Jeff drives the lane, pulls LARRY SANDERS! away from Al Horford, who’s open for a middy (mid-range shot)
6 – Teague tips a lazy Jennings pass, starts the break and drops it off to Devin Harris for an easy layup.
7 – Al Horford pick-and-pop. ‘Nuff said.
8 – Josh Smith makes an open jumper. I guess Jeff got lucky…
9 – Another Horford pick-and-pop and Teague didn’t even use the screen!
10 – On the fastbreak, Teague lobs it ahead to Harris who makes another easy layup.
11 – (see 7/9)
I love how Teague’s presence in the lane can create openings for Horford’s middy. This is likely caused by the fact that Teague was scorching the Bucks from all over. Making your shots sure does have its advantages.
Sunday against the Bucks, Teague had a rough game. He shot 5-13 from the field and missed all 4 three-point attempts. 14 points and 8 assists is still a great line for JT when you factor in his poor shooting day. When you compare his shooting to the Wednesday game, you can tell that the deep ball really helps his scoring output.
When his shots fall from outside, he puts up around 24. When he can’t buy a bucket from outside the paint, he chooses to distribute the basketball and sets up Smoove and Horf for easy buckets. Atlanta is 2nd in the league in assists per game and Jeff Teague is one of the main reasons why.
Going into this summer’s free-agency period, you have to think that Danny Ferry is looking all over for players. I would assume that JT is on Ferry’s list of players to resign and I certainly hope that he does. Retaining Teague past his rookie deal could cost anywhere between 7 and 10 million dollars a year, but a contract like that could be beneficial for the Hawks. We’ll have to see which bottom-feeder gives Teague a huge contract, perhaps a back-loaded deal, similar to Jeremy Lin’s with the Rockets.
I hope you enjoyed this two-part series on Jeffrey Demarco Teague. I look forward to your feedback and any suggestions for other series in the future!
Let me finish up with a nice haiku:
Teague kills defenders
Both on the court and when he
Plays Call of Duty
*All stats courtesy of NBA.com/stats*